Father Involvement and Support
Fathers have a profound and far-reaching impact on their children, shaping everything from academic performance and impulse control to social development and the capacity for empathy. But while the research is clear on the importance of fathers, many children are in danger of growing up in father-absent families. In fact, a majority of births to women under 30 happen outside of marriage—and divorce rates for those who do marry have blown past 40 percent. Together, these trends have left 1 in 3 children without a biological father in the home—a significant disadvantage associated with higher rates of school dropout, behavioral problems, and teen pregnancy.
Though research has long noted the benefits of involved fatherhood, public policy has been slow to offer solutions geared toward troubled fathers themselves. As a result, fathers have found little to affirm their larger purpose as parents amidst the panoply of government programs historically stacked against them. But it’s not all bad news for today’s dads. At the federal level, recent efforts have been made to create father-focused policies around paternal involvement, job training, and healthy-marriage initiatives. Discussions around the importance of involved fatherhood and how policy should respond to the challenges of today’s dynamic families intersect with the heart of CFRP’s research agenda. CFRP is exploring the intersection of nonmarital childbirth, parental relationships, father involvement, and support through in-depth analysis of primary and secondary data.
OPRE’s Fatherhood Research and Practice Network
CFRP Director and Associate Professor, Dr. Cynthia Osborne, serves as consultant and Chair of the Responsible Fatherhood working group for the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN). The FRPN is a long-term project of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) composed of an innovative group of investigators, practitioners, program officials and policymakers. The FRPN’s goals are to develop a research agenda that defines the state of the current research in the area of fatherhood and father involvement, identify extant gaps in this research, and generate suggestions for future research. Dr. Osborne is chairing the Responsible Fatherhood working group, who is tasked to identify gaps and future directions for rigorous evaluation research in the area of father engagement and parenting of their children. Click for more about the FRPN and CFRP.
Publications and Posts:
- Paternity Establishment
- Fathers in Home Visiting
- Parenting and Paternity Awareness (p.a.p.a) Curriculum